Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Rapture Question #4

Ok, in our last blog, we stated that if the church has to go through the Tribulation, then it is futile and perhaps even dumb for us to claim the coming of Christ as an imminent hope. Instead, it should be recognized that Christ cannot come until these predicted sorrows have been accomplished. On the other hand, if Christ will come for His church before the predicted time of trouble, Christians can regard His coming as an imminent daily expectation. Much of the difficulty in arriving at a solution of the Rapture Question has been occasioned by failure to define carefully the term "tribulation". Until the nature of the tribulation is established, it is impossible to discuss intelligently the question of whether the church will endure it. A wide variety of views on the tribulation exist, and each form of millennial teaching can be broadly characterized by its own position on the tribulation. Now I know this is a lot of writing but I'm so fixed on this and not smart enough to write it without many words. That's the kind of writer I am, many words rather than few words. I tend to make a short story long. OK, now lets consider what we really believe about what Tribulation is and how it should be regarded.
Postmillennial attitude toward the tribulation: They consider the tribulation as a final state of trouble just preceding the grand climax of the triumph of the gospel.
The National conversion of Israel and the general conversion of Gentiles is viewed as containing in its last stages of final conflict with Antichrist which is equated with Romanism. They do not attempt a literal interpretation of the tribulation. Many think of it as an imagery of events to come and others believe it is intended to show forth the different phases of the spiritual life of the church. Non the less, the general belief is that the tribulation will occur whenever trouble, past or present, is associated with the apostolic period. The tribulation, however, according to postmillennialism, is not very definite and its character is not sufficeiently serious to interfere with the onward march of the church to a great climax of triumph at the second advent of Christ. They consider the tribulation as a minor phase of the closing events of the age.

Amillennial attitude toward the tribulation: The amillennial interpretation of the tribulation does not differ essentially from the postmillennial although it has a different theological context. Some believe that the tribulation has already occurred and is identified with the troubles of Israel in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Now that the Book of Revelation was written after this and it clearly states that a tribulation time will occur, others hold to future tribulation placing the fulfillment of Scripture dealing with tribulation, including the battle of Gog and Magog, after the millennium. The amillennial view, therefore, holds to future tribulation period, but they tend to avoid the details and try to spiritualize the sequence of events which are prophesied.

Premillennial attitude toward the tribulation: The belief is that the coming tribulation is literal, however the Posttribulationals believe the church will remain on earth throughout the tribulation period. Even though the belief is literal, the midtribulationals view is that the church will be translated at the coming of the Lord for His Church just before the great tribulation, but in the middle of the seven-year period predicted by Daniel as preceding the coming of Christ. Daniel 9:27 This is a somewhat new view and little is said about it. The third view which is popular and a view in which I hold, is pretribulational. This is a belief that holds that Christ will come for His Church fefore the entire seven-year period predicted by Daniel. The church in this point of view does not enter at all into the final tribulation period. This teaching was espoused by Darby and the Plymouth Brethren and popularized by the famous Scofield Reference Bible.

OK, now the question comes to you. You've read all that I've said so far and you have to decide. Which is right? What do you believe? What makes sense with the rest of Scripture? So far, you've had to answer several questions and if any of these questions are still unanswered, you are confused about now. If you have answered all the question so far, you will be ready for me to continue. However, I will have to do that at another time, since I have other work to do right now. Stay tuned. Can you believe now that we need to determine the meaning of the term
"Church" and what did scripture mean when it used this term. Yes, so hang on.


Greg P. said...

I am Pre-Trib now and have been since my conversion in 1981. When the Tribulation occurs the Antichrist will immediately step forward and out of the shadows. That has not happened yet. The whole world will know when that occurs, it is too big an event to not be aware of him. He cannot be exposed until the "One who inhibits is gone". The One who inhibits is the Holy Spirit. Since He is in every Christian that means that we cannot be here either. The Church is not mentioned in the latter part of Revelations because we are not there, we are already safe in heaven!

Anonymous said...

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Read My Inaugural Address
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